Arvin Chen (born 26 November 1978) is a Taiwanese American film writer and director best known for his film, Au Revoir Taipei, a Mandarin romantic comedy film set in Taipei and executive produced by Wim Wenders.
Chen was born and raised in the United States. His parents were immigrants from Taiwan. He was born in Boston, grew up mostly in Foster City in the Bay Area and attended U.C. Berkeley majoring in architecture. In 2006, he earned a MFA in film production at the University of Southern California. He is the cousin of freelance writer and rock musician Kaiser Kuo.
After graduating from college, he moved to Taiwan in 2001 where he obtained a job working for director Edward Yang, who he describes “is kind of a family friend”. It was this experience working in Taiwan cinema that reaffirmed his interest in film-making. Soon after, he enrolled in film school between 2003 to 2006 at the University of Southern California, where he made his first short film Mei. It won the 2007 Silver Bear in Berlin’s International Short Film Competition.
Chen went on to work on his first feature length film, Au Revoir Taipei, which he both directed and wrote. Although he wasn't fluent in Mandarin, his friends had helped him with some translation for the script. The script writing process was one of the challenges he experienced in this field. Au Revoir Taipei won the Best Asian Film Award from the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC) at the 2010 Berlin International Film Festival. The film also won the Jury Prize for Best Film at the 2010 Deauville Asian Film Festival, and an Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature Film at the 2010 San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival. The film was also nominated for an Independent Spirit Award (Producers Award for producer In-Ah Lee) and also the Lino Brocka Award in the international competition of the 2010 Cinemanila International Film Festival.
Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow
Chen's latest film is the 2013 romantic comedy Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? (film)|Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? (明天記得愛上我), starring Richie Jen and Mavis Fan, and which he also both directed and wrote. The film had its world premiere at the 2013 Berlin International Film Festival, and was selected for the World Narrative Competition of the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival. At the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival, it was also nominated for Best Narrative Feature.
Chen directed and wrote a short film in the Taiwanese omnibus film, 10+10, entitled "Lane 256" - about the experiences of a couple moving in to a new apartment.
Chen also directed and wrote a short film in the omnibus film Eat (2008) - a compilation of short films from 3 directors that explores the subjects of food and love - where Daniel Jai Lee and Jon Maxwell were the other two directors who contributed segments to the film.
Chen's first short film, Mei, made when he was studying at the University of Southern California, won the Silver Berlin Bear award for "Best Short Film" at the 2007 Berlin International Film Festival. It was also nominated for a Golden Berlin Bear award. At the 2006 New York City Short Film Festival, Mei won a "Best Student Short" award as well as an "Audience Choice Program B" award.